Britain’s one-man literary avant-garde
—Jonathan Coe

A wild, experimental, polyphonic novel, recounting a typical day of diminishing returns at a nursing home

House Mother Normal

Fiction by B.S. Johnson

House Mother Normal, subtitled “A Geriatric Comedy,” is the English writer B. S. Johnson’s fifth novel. Unusual in both its subject and structure, this novel is a remarkable study of old age, stripped of sentimentality and spiked with bizarre language and perceptions. Made up of eight monologues describing a single day at a nursing home, House Mother Normal explores the failing minds of the elderly with precision, humor, and unflagging compassion, and Johnson achieves, with inventiveness and escalating absurdity, a vivid multidimensional effect.

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Paperback (published August 23, 2016)

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Paperback (published August 23, 2016)

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B.S. Johnson

B.S. Johnson was an English experimental novelist, poet, and critic.

Britain’s one-man literary avant-garde
—Jonathan Coe
Like his admirer Samuel Beckett, Johnson locates his voices among conditions of such deprivation that even the most miserable memories are gilded by comparison: this paradox fuels equal parts of comedy and pathos. Never sentimental, at once corrosive and elegiac, House Mother Normal is a remarkable achievement.
The New York Times Book Review
The future of the novel depends on people like B. S. Johnson.
—Anthony Burgess
A most gifted writer.
—Samuel Beckett
This is the most accomplished tour de force so far from a writer who has always rejected the Dickensian limitations of the novel.
London Times